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Thread: DS-1 Mods

  1. #1
    8 strings of madness! JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default DS-1 Mods

    Scored a $25 DS-1 on Reverb, can’t wait to crack it open and start swapping out components. Years ago, I’d replaced almost everything on one, and wound up with a pedal that was really subtle, I wasn’t quite sure what it did, but made everything sound better.

    Any favorite less common DS-1 mods?

  2. #2
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Blille's Avatar
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    Default DS-1 Mods

    I just remove the D4 and D5.

    Here is Wampler’s article on it https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/boss-ds-1-mods-1

    And here are some additional mods that are not on that article:
    Last edited by Blille; 01-11-2019 at 07:04 AM.

  3. #3
    8 strings of madness! JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: DS-1 Mods

    Quote Originally Posted by Blille View Post
    I just remove the D4 and D5.
    What does this do?

  4. #4
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Blille's Avatar
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    Default DS-1 Mods

    Quote Originally Posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
    What does this do?
    Reduces gain by altering the clipping, makes it more of an OD/boost.

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    Mojo's Minions devastone's Avatar
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    Default Re: DS-1 Mods

    Quote Originally Posted by Blille View Post
    Reduces gain by altering the clipping, makes it more of an OD/boost.
    It doesn't reduce gain, but it does remove the clipping so any distortion you get is coming from overloading the opamp. You might also try replacing the opamp with a JFET based one like the TL072, might smooth out any clipping you are getting.

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    Just A Minion ErikH's Avatar
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    Default Re: DS-1 Mods

    http://www.muzique.com/news/fat-mod-for-the-boss-ds-1/

    This is my favorite DS-1 mod. It fixes the overly hot biased Q2 transistor. Change those 2 resistors in the article and it changes everything. I've also swapped out D4 and D5 for 1N4002 diodes with good results.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The below is not from the mod above. It's one I came up with myself. Nice and simple.

    This is one of my minimal mods that I did some 10 years ago or so. I don't know if it applies to current models or not as I haven't looked at one in a long time. If it's SMT, forget about it. The part location numbers likely won't match up.

    R14 was raised to increase the lows. R16 was lowered to increase the mids. These three changes make the DS-1 in to a great sounding distortion. It sounds excellent with both single-coils and humbuckers.

    - D4 – change to 1N4001
    - R14 – change to 4.7k
    - R16 – change to 2.2k
    Last edited by ErikH; 01-11-2019 at 01:27 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: DS-1 Mods

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikH View Post
    http://www.muzique.com/news/fat-mod-for-the-boss-ds-1/

    This is my favorite DS-1 mod. It fixes the overly hot biased Q2 transistor. Change those 2 resistors in the article and it changes everything. I've also swapped out D4 and D5 for 1N4002 diodes with good results.

    This is one of my minimal mods that I did some 10 years ago or so. I don't know if it applies to current models or not as I haven't looked at one in a long time. If it's SMT, forget about it. The part location numbers likely won't match up.

    R14 was raised to increase the lows. R16 was lowered to increase the mids. These three changes make the DS-1 in to a great sounding distortion. It sounds excellent with both single-coils and humbuckers.

    - D4 – change to 1N4001
    - R14 – change to 4.7k
    - R16 – change to 2.2k
    I posted this on another DS-1 thread, but this mod in tandem with the JCM800 mod from the Brian Wampler article linked to earlier in the thread make for a near perfect distortion unit.
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    Just A Minion ErikH's Avatar
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    Default Re: DS-1 Mods

    Quote Originally Posted by Chistopher View Post
    I posted this on another DS-1 thread, but this mod in tandem with the JCM800 mod from the Brian Wampler article linked to earlier in the thread make for a near perfect distortion unit.
    The Fat Mod is real nice. The other mod in my post is one I came up with myself.

  9. #9
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Van Noord's Avatar
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    Default Re: DS-1 Mods

    I recently clipped D4 & D5 on my DS-1. I'd say it reduced preceived gain, despite any technical objection.
    I never liked the gain voicing of the pedal in the first place and would never use it as a standalone unit, so the mod was beneficial.
    Although the pedal's inherent tonal voice is still underlyingly apparent. Not something I was crazy about begin with so the in the end the pedal went back on the shelf.
    Last edited by Van Noord; 01-12-2019 at 09:19 AM.
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  10. #10
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Blille's Avatar
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    Default Re: DS-1 Mods

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Noord View Post
    I recently clipped D4 & D5 on my DS-1. I'd say it reduced preceived gain, despite any technical objection.
    Exactly, thanks.

  11. #11
    I poop in my KISS diapers Aceman's Avatar
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    Default Re: DS-1 Mods

    Man - this makes me want to get a bunch of DS-1s!!!!

    So - is this really that hard to do? Pretty sure I can clip a D4/D5 - whatever they are.

    Seems like modding pedals is an onramp to building....and an easy one. Or easier, anyway.
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    Just A Minion ErikH's Avatar
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    Default Re: DS-1 Mods

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Noord View Post
    I recently clipped D4 & D5 on my DS-1. I'd say it reduced preceived gain, despite any technical objection.
    I never liked the gain voicing of the pedal in the first place and would never use it as a standalone unit, so the mod was beneficial.
    Although the pedal's inherent tonal voice is still underlyingly apparent. Not something I was crazy about begin with so the in the end the pedal went back on the shelf.
    Doing that reduces the clipping. The gain from the input to that part of the circuit remains the same. But yes, it is a beneficial mod. Even better, put in 1N4001 diodes in place of the stock diodes. Higher forward voltage, smoother clipping, more headroom.

  13. #13
    Just A Minion ErikH's Avatar
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    Default Re: DS-1 Mods

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    Man - this makes me want to get a bunch of DS-1s!!!!

    So - is this really that hard to do? Pretty sure I can clip a D4/D5 - whatever they are.

    Seems like modding pedals is an onramp to building....and an easy one. Or easier, anyway.
    Clipping them is easy. But that still, IMO, doesn't change the fact that Q2 is biased too hot. That's where the fat mod that I posted comes in.

    If you go after a bunch of DS-1's, go used for older models, preferably pre-2016-2017. Since then they are surface mount (SMT) components and not everything is the same part location number as the through-hole component boards (I found this out myself recently). Not to mention that working with SMT boards can be a PITA; small parts, different way to solder, etc.

    I started modding in 2004 and pretty much stopped when things started to change over to SMT. The fun part is learning why the part is being changed and the effect it has on the circuit and the sound. I still need to reference my notes and schematics and am far from an expert on the subject.
    Last edited by ErikH; 01-14-2019 at 06:56 AM.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Van Noord's Avatar
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    Default Re: DS-1 Mods

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikH View Post
    Doing that reduces the clipping. The gain from the input to that part of the circuit remains the same. But yes, it is a beneficial mod. Even better, put in 1N4001 diodes in place of the stock diodes. Higher forward voltage, smoother clipping, more headroom.
    So in layman terms, what is the precieved effect when clipping is reduced in a circuit?
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  15. #15
    Just A Minion ErikH's Avatar
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    Default Re: DS-1 Mods

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Noord View Post
    So in layman terms, what is the precieved effect when clipping is reduced in a circuit?
    The signal is cleaner and should be louder. I know what you're saying when you say the gain is reduced, and in a way you are correct. But the gain of the signal going to that point, while leaving everything else the same, has not changed. It's really the distortion that has been reduced.

    Look at it like this. You have a water valve (gain knob) and you have that valve set to allow so much water through it. The pipe leading to that valve is your input signal. On the other side of the valve, the water flows in to a gutter, for example (signal flowing through the rest of the circuit and out). Nice and clean. Now, take a cup with holes and place it after the valve before it gets to the gutter. Water flows in to the cup and flows out the holes, but not all the water gets to the gutter. The threshold has been reached (overflow). That is the clipping. It's not flowing as clean as it would otherwise. We are clipping the amount of water from reaching the gutter. That is what diodes do. They clip the signal so the same signal going in to the gain stage is not the same as going out. By cutting the diodes out, you are effectively removing the cup and restoring the water flow (no more overflow). Notice that I never mentioned opening or closing up the water valve (gain knob).

    I hope this makes sense
    Last edited by ErikH; 01-12-2019 at 11:23 AM.

  16. #16
    of the Forum PFDarkside's Avatar
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    Default Re: DS-1 Mods

    Gain is though to describe non-technically, since it’s been used to describe distortion with the advent of master volume amps. Gain really is a measure of extra level/volume. In a distortion pedal, that extra volume is then “clipped” by diodes to create distortion.

    If you remove the clipping diodes the pedal gets a lot louder and the only distortion comes from the OpAmp that is amplifying the signal in the pedal.

    A popular mod is to replace the clipping diodes with LEDs (Keeley Seeing Eye Mod) as it gives a louder, less compressed signal, and it responds differently than the stock silicon diodes.
    Oh no.....


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  17. #17
    8 strings of madness! JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: DS-1 Mods

    My DS-1 should be arriving monday, can't wait to crack into it!

  18. #18
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Blille's Avatar
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    Default Re: DS-1 Mods

    You obviously now need to buy 2/3 more to try more of the mods lol

  19. #19
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Blille's Avatar
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    Default Re: DS-1 Mods

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
    So - is this really that hard to do? Pretty sure I can clip a D4/D5 - whatever they are.
    It’s literally cutting two components. Not even unsoldering or anything.

  20. #20
    Toneologist Mononoaware's Avatar
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    Default Re: DS-1 Mods

    Btw, if you're looking for a used Boss pedal's year of manufacture, I found this cool little resource. DOM by serial number:
    http://www.stompboxzone.com/decoder/boss_decoder.php

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